Wednesday 10/20/21
AFGHANISTAN

US, Britain, Australia warn citizens to stay away from Kabul airport

The advisory went on to say that citizens already at the airport's gates "should leave immediately"
August 24, 2021 - Kabul, Afghanistan - 'i love kabul' sign as A Paratrooper assigned 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division scans his sector as he conducts security as part of a non-combatant evacuation (NEO) operation in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2021. The Department of Defense is supporting the Department of State in evacuating U.S. civilian personnel, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible. (Credit Image: Jillian G. Hix/U.S. Army/ZUMA Press Wire Service/ZUMAPRESS.com Photo: U.S. Army/ZUMA Press Wire Service/dpa
A paratrooper scans his sector as he conducts security as part of a the evacuation operation in Kabul. Photo: Jillian G. Hix/US Army/dpa.

The governments of the United States, Great Britain and Australia have warned their citizens against traveling to Kabul's airport amid the threat of a terrorist attack, as the evacuation deadline from Afghanistan approaches.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday updated its advice on Smartraveller, warning people not to head to Hamid Karzai airport and telling those nearby to "move to a safe location and await further advice."

The US Embassy in Kabul in an updated advisory cited "security threats outside the gates" of the airport, advising citizens to "avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a US government representative to do so."

The advisory went on to say that citizens already at the airport's gates "should leave immediately."

Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) gave similar advice on Wednesday night.

Evacuation window closing

A week and a half after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the window of opportunity for military evacuations out of Afghanistan is closing fast, with US President Joe Biden sticking to plans for the withdrawal of US troops to finish by 31 August.

If US troops leave Kabul airport, and with the Taliban in charge of the country, the safety of the facility cannot be guaranteed for further evacuations.

The situation has led to chaotic scenes as crowds have been flocking to the airport in the hope of getting a flight out before the deadline.

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